Cognitive load

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Cognitive is a term (used in psychology and other fields of study) that refers to the load on working memory during problem solving, thinking and reasoning (including perception, memory, language, etc.).

Most would agree that people learn better when they can build on what they already understand. But the more things a person has to learn in a short amount of time, the more difficult it is to process information in working memory.

Consider the difference between having to study a subject in one's native language versus trying to study a subject in a foreign language. The cognitive load is much higher in the second instance because the brain must work to translate the language while simultaneously trying to understand the new information.


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